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Trust the Man Movie Review

Trust No One

About.com Rating 1 Star Rating

By

Trust the Man Movie Review

Maggie Gyllenhaal, Billy Crudup, David Duchovny, and Julianne Moore in Trust the Man.

© Fox Searchlight
Four annoying people we couldn’t care less about commiserating over their sorry sex lives and bounding in and out of beds just isn’t appealing. Add to the irritating central characters a wealth of silly fart jokes, sex jokes that might have been funny years ago, multiple scenes of people spitting out water at their dining partners, and obnoxious supporting characters who serve only to detract from the film, and you’ve got Trust the Man, one of the least enjoyable romantic comedies of the decade.
Elaine (Maggie Gyllenhaal) is a harried assistant working on a children’s book. She’s been dating Tobey (Billy Crudup), who seems to be some sort of sports writer, for seven long years. Of course he’s a commitment-phobe, so writing a book for children is as close as Elaine will get to having one of her own if she stays with this loser.

The loser’s sister Rebecca (Julianne Moore) is a successful actress taking a break from the screen to star in a play. She laughs, she cries, she gets praised by a cute young co-star and so on and so forth. The actress is married to Tom (David Duchovny), a househusband who used to be in advertising. Househusband and loser boyfriend are best friends. Harried assistant/wannabe writer and the actress are best friends. Everyone chatters away about their horrible, unfulfilling lives while living in beautiful homes, eating out at fabulous restaurants and pretty much doing as they please. Oh yes, we can really relate to all these pretty people and their miserable lives.

Billy Crudup and David Duchovny in Trust the Man.

© Fox Searchlight
Trust the Man is rife with scenes that never connect. There’s a bizarre randomness to how the film’s put together. The film lurches forward seemingly constructed out of bits and pieces of two or three screenplays slammed together into one disjointed story. Characters float in and out of the film, each burning brightly for a moment or two before being snuffed out, often just when it looks as though they might become interesting.

Speaking of disjointed scenes, for some bizarre reason a wooden spoon thrown by a small child from 10 feet away that glances off the side of a grown woman’s nose can cause her to have two huge black eyes and a swollen nose. Silly as that scene is, it’s not close to being the worst moment of the film. No, that honor goes to the sequence in which Duchovny’s sex addict character stumbles across an Internet site featuring bestiality. Thankfully the horse is only heard whinnying... Given the film’s low-brow humor (burping, farting, and pooping are frequently heard/discussed), the restraint shown in not focusing on the computer screen is a pleasant surprise.

Halfway through the film Maggie Gyllenhaal as Elaine yells at her boyfriend to just shut-up. It took all my self-restraint not to stand up and cheer her on. Unfortunately for all involved - and specifically for the audience – Tobey fails to heed her advice and keeps on talking. Everyone in this movie just keeps on talking ad nauseam.

By the time the predictable final act rolls around, I was wishing all four lead characters would get mowed down by a delivery truck. Now that’s an ending worth sticking around to see. Since the film doesn’t end in bloodshed (or any other way that might qualify as satisfying), Trust the Man and its 103 minute running time just winds up being 102 – no, make that 103 - minutes too long.

Grade F:

Trust the Man was directed by Bart Freundlich and is rated R for language and some sexual content.

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